Manchester United’s eight forwards ranked from best to worst

Manchester United's eight forwards ranked from best to worst

It can be hard to forget, as they have struggled so much creatively this season, but Manchester United have a wealth of attacking talent.

Be it senior stars, players out on loan or promising youngsters, United are well stocked in the wide forward positions but they are lacking in out-and-out strikers. Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are the only two who naturally play in the centre of a forward line and one of them — or maybe even both — will leave in the summer.

As a result, the club may have to dip into the market once again for a new striker once the summer transfer window reopens. United have little to no hope of winning the race for Erling Haaland so will instead have to aim a little lower. There is an interest held in Lyon’s Moussa Dembele while the likes of Darwin Nunez and Victor Osimhen have been linked.

But for now, United will have to see out the rest of the season with what they’ve got. Below, MEN Sport has ranked United’s senior forwards from best to worst on current form.

1 – Cristiano Ronaldo

The signing of Ronaldo has proven to be quite paradoxical. Without him, United would have been without a striker for large portions of the season, he’s bagged some crucial goals and he’s clearly the best forward at the club but, simultaneously, his limited movement has had a negative impact on the way United play.

Ultimately, Ronaldo probably hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations he returned to Old Trafford with. Yet, he has performed better than anyone else this season and is the club’s top goalscorer by a hefty margin with 18 — double that of his closest competitor, Bruno Fernandes.

2 – Jadon Sancho

After a slow start to the season in which he not only had to adapt to a more physical league with less space but also came into a team without any clear attacking plan, Sancho has finally started to come into his own in recent weeks. He has been the biggest benefactor of Ralf Rangnick’s time in charge and now looks like the thrilling livewire on the flank that United wanted to sign for so long.

His numbers could still do with getting better, with just five goals and three assists so far, but there is already an upwards trend and there’s no sign of that stopping yet. He’s now safely United’s best wide forward.

3- Anthony Elanga
While still young, raw and yet to put a great 90-minute performance together, Elanga has surpassed most of his forward colleagues in recent weeks purely through his effort, willingness to run at and beyond defences and, of course, some cool finishing. His late equaliser against Atletico Madrid was a special moment in itself and further goals against Leeds and Brentford showed his quality and resilience.

If the Swede can continue to develop in the final games of the season then next year should be even better.

4 – Edinson Cavani
Only the dreadful form of United’s other forwards has kept Cavani so high up the list. While his quality and passion on the pitch can not be disputed, his commitment off it has left a lot to be desired as he picks and chooses the games he plays and even returns to training late following international breaks.

The veteran striker has missed 23 games this season, which is simply far too many. It’s a shame because what will almost certainly be his final season at Old Trafford looks to be ending in a damp squib, with just two goals scored, and it could have been so much more.

5 – Marcus Rashford
No goals since January, just five all season, in a horrible rut of form and omitted from the England squad despite being fit; Rashford’s stock is perhaps at the lowest it has ever been. He may have frustrations over a lack of playing time of late, but what is Rangnick supposed to do when Rashford has been poor every time he’s played?

There’s clearly a very talented player in Rashford but he hasn’t been at his best for a few years now and he really needs to find it again.

6 – Juan Mata

Mata came on for just his fifth appearance all year for the final six minutes of the defeat to Atletico at Old Trafford and in those mere 360 seconds, he showed more creativity than many others had for United in the entire match.

He may be 33 and unable to play every week, but the Spaniard remains a quality playmaker with guile and ingenuity unlike anyone else in the squad. It’s sad that he hasn’t had more opportunities to show it.

7 – Jesse Lingard

Despite his excellent loan spell at West Ham last season and important contributions off the bench earlier this season, Lingard hasn’t seen much action at all this season and has made just eight appearances under Rangnick. He has done little of note in those games and now looks to be counting down the days until he can kickstart his career again somewhere new next season.

8 – Amad

After a dream start with a goal just minutes into his debut, Amad has begun to struggle on loan at Rangers. A 3-0 defeat in the Old Firm derby was a rude awakening and he has since spent most of his time either on the bench or out injured. However, at still just 19 he has a lot of potential that will hopefully be realised next season.

9 – Anthony Martial

Martial had complaints about his lack of playing time at United but has done absolutely nothing at Sevilla to prove that he deserved more minutes. The Frenchman has been a busted flush in Spain as Sevilla title hopes have slipped away. He has scored just once, hasn’t played a full 90 minutes and was jeered off the field by supporters in his last match.

 

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